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Scientists have identified an uncommon and exceedingly energetic element descending onto the Earth from outer space.
According to researchers, it is one of the most powerful cosmic rays ever observed, and it is named after Amaterasu, the sun goddess in Japanese folklore.
The source of these phenomena is still a mystery, but it is believed by experts that only the most intense celestial occurrences, surpassing even a supernova, are capable of creating them.
According to John Matthews, a professor of research in the physics and astronomy department at the University of Utah in the United States, phenomena such as supernovas are not powerful enough for this.
“To contain the particle while accelerating, a significant amount of energy and strong magnetic fields are required.”
The Amaterasu particle possesses an energy greater than 240 exa-electron volts (EeV), which is exponentially higher than the energy levels reached at the Large Hadron Collider, the most advanced accelerator currently in operation.
It ranks second in energy to the Oh-My-God particle, a cosmic ray with an ultra-high energy of 320 EeV that was discovered in 1991.
According to Toshihiro Fujii, an associate professor at Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan, the initial observation of the ultra-high-energy cosmic ray led them to believe there was an error due to its unprecedented energy level, which had not been seen in the past 30 years.
When extremely powerful cosmic rays collide with the Earth’s atmosphere, they create a series of secondary particles and electromagnetic radiation, also known as an extensive air shower.
A certain type of electromagnetic radiation can be detected by specific instruments when some electrically charged particles in an air shower exceed the speed of light.
The Telescope Array observatory, located in Utah, USA, was responsible for the discovery of the Amaterasu particle.
This enigmatic occurrence seemingly originated from the Local Void, a vacant region of the universe that borders the Milky Way galaxy.
According to experts, this may suggest a greater magnetic deviation than expected, an unknown source in the Local Void, or a lack of complete understanding in high-energy particle physics.
According to Professor Matthews, the particles possess such high energy that they should not be influenced by magnetic fields from within or outside of the galaxy.
You should be able to identify their origin in the night sky.
“However, when examining the Oh-My-God particle and this newly discovered particle, it is observed that tracing its path back to its origin reveals no source with enough energy to account for its production.”
“What is happening is the mystery here?”
The researchers anticipate that the Amaterasu particle will lead to more studies that could provide insight into ultra high-energy cosmic rays and their origin.
According to John Belz, a faculty member in the department of physics and astronomy at University of Utah, these occurrences appear to originate from distinct locations in the celestial sphere.
There is not a single unknown origin.
“It could be defects in the structure of spacetime, colliding cosmic strings.
“I am brainstorming unconventional ideas that people have suggested because there is no standard explanation.”
The results have been published in the journal Science.